Southwest Airlines (LUV) announced Friday morning that it will leave its longtime home in Dallas, Texas. The company will establish a new base of operations in Bangor, Maine. Due to the location change, the company will also change its name to Northeast Airlines.
The move set Wall Street abuzz and the stock price dropped 25% by the end of the day. Southwest Airlines has long had a sound business model with simple operations, low prices, and full planes. Analysts fear that the move will disturb that pattern, and the name change will eliminate the intangible value of a name brand.
Longtime Southwest Airlines Chairman Herb Kelleher addressed investor concerns and explained the move: "All those risks are there, and we know about that, but after 40 years in Dallas, we just got sick of the heat. Bangor will be a lot more pleasant in the summer, I'll tell you that!"
Bangor Mayor Richard Greene seemed pleased in a local press conference late Friday: "We're bringing in thousands of jobs to the community, and we're proud to have Southwest Airlines, uh, I mean Northeast Airlines, here with us."
While the company name will change, it will retain the stock ticker name of LUV.